Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Music City Food + Wine Fest Will Host 30 Local Chefs in Grand Tasting Tent

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Josh Habiger whips up samples of maple-thyme custard with bacon dipping chip at last years fest
  • Jen Creed/MusicCityFW on Facebook
  • Josh Habiger whips up samples of maple-thyme custard with bacon dipping chip at last year's fest.
As the Music City Food + Wine Festival (formerly Music City Eats) draws closer to its second annual staging downtown, it has released one of the more salient details — the schedule of well-regarded local chefs who will serve up samples for festivalgoers under the tents labeled The Grand Taste.

More than 30 local folks have signed up to participate. Different chefs will be featured on each of the festival's two days:

Saturday, Sept. 20

Kahlil Arnold (Arnold’s Country Kitchen); Carey Bringle (Peg Leg Porker); Larry Carlile (Silo); Chris Carter & James Peisker (Porter Road Butcher); Lisa Donovan (Buttermilk Road); Matt Farley (The Southern Steak & Oyster and The Acme); Giovanni Francescotti (Giovanni Ristorante); Sarah Gavigan (Otaku South); Robert Grace (Kayne Prime); Hal M. Holden-Bache (Lockeland Table); Todd Alan Martin (The Treehouse); Trevor Moran (The Catbird Seat); Barclay Stratton (Merchants Restaurant); Tandy Wilson (City House); and Karl Worley (Biscuit Love Truck).

Sunday, Sept. 21

Roderick Bailey (The Silly Goose); Matt Bolus (The 404 Kitchen); Tyler Brown (Capitol Grille); Trey Cioccia (The Farm House); Daniel Dillingham & George Harvell (Loveless Cafe); Jay Flatley (Tavern); Josh Habiger (Pinewood Social); Betsy Johnston (Adele’s by Jonathan Waxman); John Lasater (Hattie B’s); Andrew Little (Josephine); Pat Martin (Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint); Margot McCormack (Margot Café & Marché); Arnold Myint; Deb Paquette (Etch); Nick Pellegrino (Mangia Nashville); and Jake Strang (1808 Grille, Hutton Hotel).

Additional participants at The Grand Taste tents, according to the festival's announcement:

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Enjoy a Sunset Symphony at Natchez Hills Vineyard

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Located just about 45 minutes off I-65 (providing you can get south of Franklin somehow), Natchez Hills Vineyard is a lovely little venue near Hampshire, Tenn. The Columbia Breakfast Rotary Club invites you to head down for a visit on Saturday, Sept. 13, for an event they're calling "Sunset Symphony."

Admission is $35 and the gates will open at 5 p.m. for an evening that includes dinner, souvenir wine glass, wine tasting, entertainment and parking. The music will be provided by The Big Thrill band, who will take the stage at 8 p.m. performing music crossing the genres of big band, rock and pop. There will also be a silent auction with travel and gift items to raise money for causes such as a scholarship fund for Maury County high school students, and the Boys & Girls Club of Maury County.

Local artisans will be selling their wares, and food and wine will be available for sale, so no outside food or drink is allowed. For more info or to buy tickets, visit the event's website.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Ken's Sushi Building Smashed; New Ken's Sushi Location Launches

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 1:05 PM

  • Photo: Randolph Blake
If you're a fan of longtime Division Street restaurant Ken's Sushi, you may feel a pang of sadness at this photo of vandalism on the site, sent in by Scene reader Randolph Blake.

The original Ken's location is part of a swath of Midtown being razed to clear the way for a massive 17-story development from Indiana's Buckingham Cos., which is slated to include a hotel and residential, office, restaurant and retail spaces.

The empty Ken's Sushi building at 2007 Division St. is set for demolition; it's currently fenced off and has become the target of vandalism, including the smashed front window.

Meanwhile, Ken's Sushi lives on in a new location. Owner Kenji “Ken” Ohno originally targeted East Nashville for the new spot, but that plan fell through (that space at 923 Main St. is now being taken over by Koi Sushi & Thai).

Instead, Ken's Sushi opened Aug. 1 at 1108 Murfreesboro Pike, near Thompson Lane. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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Composting Saves Landfill Space, Enriches Gardens and Farms, and Helps the Environment

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Years ago, when Metro gave me my very own Curby, I decided to turn my old garbage can into a composter. I’ve been collecting and tossing my kitchen scraps in there and only occasionally removing some compost to enrich the garden soil, so it’s now about 75 percent full. And we’re about to move. So, I have to: a) figure out what to do with what’s in the bin currently; and b) stop adding more to it. After years of composting, it feels so wrong to flush scraps down the disposal or toss them in the trash.

It made me remember what it was like to work in food service and see tons of food — some of it completely untouched — get tossed in the garbage every day. If a roll goes out to a table and isn’t eaten, it has to go into the trash. I saw so much food waste. I know some restaurants donate their prepared but unserved food to various organizations, but I figure there’s still plenty of food that can’t be donated that still goes into the trash.

It so happens that a couple of weeks ago, I read a piece on NPR’s blog, The Salt, reporting that in Massachusetts, the government is working to address this problem, starting with the biggest producers of food waste: hospitals, schools and groceries. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for a ban on food waste disposal for institutions that produce more than a ton of food waste per week.

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Get Happy at Sinema

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Now that they've been open for almost two months, the folks at Sinema are hitting their stride. Having featured chef Dale Levitski's creative cuisine to draw in the dining crowd, now they want to get your tail in a bar stool with a series of new happy hour deals every Monday through Thursday, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the upstairs lounge.

The deals change daily, with rotating craft cocktail specials and $1 off well drinks and all beers on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesdays are the best deal of the week, with well drinks and domestic bottled beers specially priced at two-for-one from 4:30 p.m. until close. Levitski has designed a special "concessions menu" to accompany the drinks in the upstairs lounge. Playful dishes that don't require silverware to eat mean diners can share plates while they enjoy their drinks.

Social Media Monday will feature special deals that you can find out about only by watching the restaurant's updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The kitchen is also offering the equivalent of combo meals with food and drink pairings offered at discounted prices. Currently, Belgian Thursday offers mussels, frites and a Stella Artois for just $18. (Apparently they have forgotten that we're still supposed to be angry at the Belgians after they knocked us out of the World Cup.)

2600 Franklin Pike

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Friday, August 15, 2014

A Sign and Some Menu Items Revealed at the New Sutler

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Driving down Franklin Road, we saw that there's now a sign up at The Sutler, an indication that maybe they'll make the "summer" opening they've promised. (We'll see. There's no date set yet.)

At any rate, they're starting to make some of the menu public.

From The Sutler:

Hot dog in pinto bean dunk with a watermelon mescal cocktail theyre calling a field party.
  • Hot dog in pinto bean dunk with a watermelon mescal cocktail they're calling a "field party."
Short Rib Hot Dog: Porter Road Butcher dog, pork fat kraut, stout cumin mustard, roasted green chile pinto bean dunk

Brussel Sprout Hash​: crispy leaves, crème fraiche whipped yukons, crunchy cheddar—jack crumbles, shallot chips

Potted Smoke​: 24 hour smoked brisket tip and pork butt confit with grilled crusty bread for spreading

Fried Pickle Bash​: spicy kosher dill pickle chips & green tomatoes, tabasco remoulade and Steens Cane Syrup mignonette

The Sutler's chef will be Nick Seabergh, most recently at Alchemy in Memphis. He spent time at Herbsaint in New Orleans with Donald Link, and City Grocery in Oxford, Miss., with John Currence. We've been promised the rest of the menu lineup when it's ready, but for now Seabergh is testing and tweaking his take on bar food. The one thing we've had a chance to try, a version of the popped crack corn, had caramel, jalapeno, smoked salt and bacon on it. It was a lot of fun.

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You Know You Love Ham, Now Read All About It in New Cookbook

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 7:31 AM

  • thehamery.com
Country ham is such a wonderful invention. The delicious marriage of science and art comes together in the lovely funky salty flavors of a well-cured ham, a fortunate side effect of the process that was originally developed to help folks preserve meat to get them through long periods without the benefit of refrigeration.

City hams are fine and dandy for a sandwich, but the artful techniques of country ham-making raise it far above a boiled leg in the eyes and palates of food aficionados. I remember sending a Loveless Cafe gift basket to a customer above the Mason/Dixon line who called to thank me, but complained, "The jams were great, but we had to throw away that ham because something was wrong with it. It was really salty." Bless his heart.

Louisville-based food writer Steve Coomes has recently written an exhaustive treatise on the subject with his book Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt and Smoke. No longer the simple food of the common folk, country ham is featured in upscale restaurants all across the country, and curing experts like Allan Benton are respected as master purveyors by notable chefs like David Chang and Sean Brock.

Coomes shares the history and process of ham curing as well as profiles of some of the artisans who are producing the closest thing that America has to the legendary jamón Iberico, which can cost as much as $100/pound if you import it from Spain. In addition to Allan Benton, two other notable Tennesseans are profiled who will happily sell you their wares for a lot less than that.

Bob Woods of The Hamery in Murfreesboro calls country ham “hillbilly prosciutto” and takes the pun a step further by naming his premium product “Tennshoetoe." Dry-cured and hung in a smokehouse for 18 moths, Tennshoetoe is a delicious treat that you can buy online or at The Hamery's office.

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Open Thread — Listage: Southern Living Loves Nashville, Bon Appétit Does Not

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 6:55 AM

Crudo from The 404 Kitchen
  • Crudo from The 404 Kitchen
Fellow residents of It City, we have been listed again. But it appears that one publication seems to understand that Nashville's restaurant scene is booming, while another ignores it altogether.

On the one hand, we have Southern Living, which ranked eight Nashville restaurants among it's Top 100 in the South.

On the other hand we have Bon Appétit, which had zero Nashville restaurants in its 50 Nominees for America's Best New Restaurants, compiled by Andrew Knowlton.

What gives?

Let's start with the Southern Living piece.

Jennifer Cole names The 404 Kitchen, Capitol Grille, The Catbird Seat, City House, Husk, Lockeland Table, Pinewood Social, and Rolf and Daughters. Interestingly, she puts 404 at No. 3 on the whole list. We reviewed it last November and loved it.

Having eight restaurants on the list means we tied with Atlanta for second, behind only Charleston, which had 10 places listed.

Meanwhile, Knowlton seems to have lost Nashville's number this year after putting Rolf and Daughters in the list of new spots last year. So, the new 404 can be No. 3 overallnew restaurant (see Jen Cole's comment below) in Southern Living but not make the top 50 best new places in Bon Appétit? Am I missing something here?

(Of course Knowlton once recommended Chicago's Next in print before he had ever eaten there — its opening was delayed past his magazine deadline and he included it anyway — so who knows.)

Update 11:00 a.m.: It's probably worth noting that Southern Living also did a "ones to watch" list which included the newly opened Sinema in The Melrose.

Lists were made to argue over, so please commence arguing about this or anything else on your mind, Open Threaders:

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tango Grill: This Week's Dining Review

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 1:17 PM

In this week's issue of the Scene, restaurant critic Carrington Fox visits Tango Grill, chef Alexia Humphrey's welcome new eatery, tucked into a retail strip on Linbar Drive off Harding Place.

After making a splash with her former restaurant Nola's on West End, the chef moved back to her native Uruguay for a while. Happily, she's returned to Nashville, serving up her Uruguayan-Argentine-Cajun fare, including her famous chivito sandwich, in the new restaurant. The national sandwich of Uruguay, the chivito is "an exceptional layering of marinated steak, Swiss cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, sautéed peppers, mushrooms and onions, and fried egg on a crusty baguette," Fox says.

It's served with a side of chimichurri, minced parsley, garlic, olive oil, white pepper, coriander and red pepper, which "cuts through the grease with an herbal brightness that makes the sandwich."

Fox found a lot more to like at Tango Grill, including more outstanding dishes and the friendly presence of Chef Alexia herself. Read the full review here.

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Learn How to Can at the Grow Local Kitchen (Plus Here's an Easy Spiced Pickled Peaches Recipe)

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM

  • preservingnow.com
We've finally reached the point in the growing season where home gardeners might actually be able to get ahead of the varmints that tend to "harvest" vegetables before we can get them picked. At the same time, the produce at stores and farmers markets is spectacular and plentiful.

But it won't always be this way, and too soon we'll all be wishing we had some of those delicious tomatoes that are so readily available. That's where preserving comes in handy. Some methods are simple, like cold pickling or just freezing some cut vegetables in plastic bags for later use. But real canning requires some care and a real attention to sterilization to ensure safety when you pop that lid months from now.

Lyn Deardorff of the Preserving Now site wants to help you out, so she's teaching a class in the Grow Local Kitchen of the Nashville Farmers' Market to help keep you from wasting that wonderful garden bounty. The class costs $75 per person and will be held 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday Aug. 31. Here's the class description from the official announcement:

Our Immersion Workshop covers all the basics in a four-hour complete, hands-on workshop, using the most popular and easiest method: water-bath canning. We emphasize safety guidelines along with tips for avoiding added sugars, salts, and other dietary concerns — along with NO preservatives, artificial coloring or other additives!

We'll do three of the most popular kinds of canning: A Pickle, A Tomato, and A Fruit. You'll receive a complete notebook of instruction and recipes (which we use in the class) along with a jar of each product to take home — 3 jars in all. We'll talk about using equipment you already have on hand, how to use your jarred food in various recipes such as entrees, lunches, appetizers, kids' meals.

You'll leave with the knowledge and confidence to do canning on your own — ready to stock your pantry for year-round seasonal goodness! All supplies, food and jars, plus instructions and recipes provided.

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